Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Great Physician

Two weeks ago, Adalei had her first baby exam at the pediatrician's office. She was a champ--no tears even as I walked her naked little body down to be laid on those cold scales. She wasn't able to see her pediatrician that day--and I was just a little bummed. Dr. Griffith has been Layla's pediatrician since birth and I have LOVED her--BUT because babies' first appointments are kind of last minute, I guess you have to take whoever you can get. SO we saw a new doctor--who was great with Adalei--very knowledgeable and super sweet (but not Dr. Griffith).

The exam went great until he got to her hips and wiggled them around--I've always wondered what the purpose was in wiggling their hips like they did and I was soon to find out. The doctor finished the exam, picked up Adalei and handed her to me. He said everything looked perfect except for her left hip. During labor, babies release the hormone relaxin to allow for their joints to be flexible enough to adapt to the tight quarters of the birth canal. Because their joints become more flexible during birth, some babies' ball and socket joints become completely dislodged. Adalei was one of those babies. The doctor ordered an ultrasound to see how bad her hips looked so that we could determine if she'd have to wear a brace or have surgery. WHAT?!? I was in shock. The idea of this perfect little one having to endure surgery or having to wear a brace and be different than other babies sent me reeling. I just don't think a parent can ever be prepared for that kind of thing--and this was minor compared to what so many other mommies and daddies go through with their newborns.

I walked out of the room--made her two week exam appointment (with Dr. Griffith), scheduled the ultrasound for after Christmas and New Year's and grabbed my phone to call Neil. I tried to gloss over the whole hip thing--partially to protect me from hearing myself say that little Adalei may have to have surgery and partially to protect Neil from being worried. But he's a pretty sharp guy and picked up on the severity of it pretty quickly.

When I got home and took Adalei back to the bedroom to change her diaper...Neil followed with his little prayer journal that he keeps. He wrote down the date and then he wrote down "do not--DO NOT--be shocked when the doctors say Adalei's hip is healed". My first thought, "good luck with that one, buddy". So we prayed for her--and I continued to pray with every single diaper change--except probably the night ones where I'm not at 100%--when I would see her sweet little hip and remind myself to be careful with her. I have to admit though...I said more than a few prayers that were lacking in faith over the course of two weeks. Oddly enough, Neil and I had been working our way through Mark and the passage where a man brings his spirit possessed son to Jesus for healing kept ringing in my ears (Mark 9:14-30)--in particular the verse where the father says, "I do belive; help my unbelief". Never had that one verse made so much became a part of my prayers over then next few weeks--a huge part of my prayers. Neil shared the news with his bible study group--a group of guys that are a blessing to BOTH of us--and they all prayed for Adalei. That little thing was covered up in prayers, that's for sure!

Monday was her two week check up. I was dreading it. I dreaded hearing them tell me how yucky her hip was and what we'd have to do to make sure the problem was addressed. When Dr. Griffith walked in, I felt my heart beat a little faster. She examined Adalei's eyes, ears, mouth, tummy...and then started to open her diaper. I held my breath and walked across the room to look over her as she pushed on Adalei's hips. She pushed once....scrunched her face a little...and pushed again. This is the conversation that followed:

Dr. G: Interesting
Me: Yeah, the doctor she saw last time recommended an ultrasound for her hip, we just haven't had it done yet.
Dr. G: I saw that on her chart, but I just don't understand. Her hip is perfectly normal.
Me: Excuse me?
Dr. G: Her hip is normal. I don't see any reason to schedule that ultrasound. I'm not sure what happened here, but what you have here is a perfectly healthy, normal and cute as a button baby. She's going to be easy to spoil.

I laughed and agreed about the "easy to spoil" part. But I'm sure I was white as a sheet. I think if she would have touched my shoulder...I would have fallen over. I was in complete shock. When she left the room and I looked over at Adalei--kicking her feet and content as could be--my elbows hit that exam table and I wept. As I got her dressed, I couldn't help but look at her hip and be in awe that her little hip had been touched by my sweet Lord. I think her little hip will always be a reminder to me of God's mercy and faithfulness. I can hardly look at it--even days later--without feeling humbled.

So while some may give credit to coincidence--or some may think it was just a normal mistake made by a doctor--I like to think that my sweet baby was healed by the Great Physician. I really don't think there is any other explanation.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Big Sister

Sweet little Layla...boy am I having a time with her! She is absolutely perfect with Adalei--loves her so much already. Layla constantly wants to hold her and snuggle with her...constantly!

But...something is going on with my first born baby. Not only does she look like a giant now, she's different--maybe its just me, but she seems different to me. She's more independent than before--insisting on doing everything--I mean EVERYTHING--by herself. She wants to carry her own plate to the table, throw all the trash away, wrap Christmas presents, get dressed and undressed, wash her own name it--she wants to do it...ALL BY HERSELF. As you can imagine, this comes with a lot of frustration on her part. Its almost as if she's stuck between still wanting to be a baby and being a "big girl". She's been whiny with me--wanting to rock in her rocking chair, wanting to be carried around the house, sung to sleep...etc. I am trying to be extra patient, but she's wearing me down. And I think she's acting out in order to get extra attention. She's great most of the day--until it starts getting close to nap time and bed time. Its almost as if when she starts to get tired, she loses all forms of self control. So my prayer this week has been for gentleness and understanding--and sometimes by 12:45 I am just short of falling on my knees and BEGGING for divine intervention.

So while this transition has been really pretty smooth--it still pains me to see Layla struggle even just a tiny bit. I guess its natural--and normal...but I just hate to see her like this--I hate for her to think that she has to do anything more than just "be" in order to get my attention...I hate for her to think she isn't my baby anymore...I hate for her to feel like she's in second place--even for a second. Maybe I'm taking this too serious but I couldn't help but feel that rush of emotions while I was rocking her...YES...rocking her last night. She was huge and heavy in my arms and my heart broke into a billion pieces. maybe this is post-pregnancy hormones coming into play here...or maybe I am just terrible with change. Either way...I'm ready to adjust to this new family dynamic already! Alright, so I admit it--sounds like its probably ME not Layla that's having the hard time here, huh? Nothing like reading your own thoughts on a computer screen to make you have a nice little "ah ha" moment :-) Darn those psychology classes making me over think EVERYTHING I say and do for fear of scaring my child!

Merry Christmas guys...I can't wait to post pictures and write about our holiday with a family of FOUR!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birth Story...Adalei Grace

As most of you probably already know, Neil and I welcomed little Adalei Grace into our family last Wednesday night. And can I just say...I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a newborn in my house. I had forgotten about all the sweet little newborn things until Adalei came---the random smiles, the cries that are so sweet--I'm even enjoying our night time feedings and the cries that wake me up. Although, this one doesn't cry much--only when she's cold (must get that from her mommy...I HATE being even slightly cold).

So the birth story...
I had written several months ago that I was going to try to go without having an epidural--not for any reason other than the health of Adalei and just to see what it felt like. As the time got closer and I had read NOTHING on natural childbirth, I started getting nervous. Let me back up...I am not one to read and study methodology--it stresses me out because I am one of those people who like to follow all the rules. So, with the birth of both Layla and Adalei, Neil and I decided it best to not do birthing classes and not read too much on the birth experience and just let instinct take over.

So we checked into the hospital at around 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon. The doctor broke my water at 3:45 and I was 6 cm dilated. By 4:45 the contractions were SO close and the pressure was INCREDIBLE. At around 5:15pm I really entertained the idea of giving up and taking my medicine :-) The doctor came back in and checked me--8cm and moving quickly. By 5:30 I was ready to push...and I think I had started hallucinating a little (strange--probably out of pain and out of hunger--I hadn't eaten anything but dry cereal all day). I only lost my temper with one
little nurse who kept asking me questions during YES DURING contractions. Neil said I was perfectly polite and graceful, but I knew the thoughts that were behind my short "yes" and "no" answers...I wanted to strangle the poor girl!

Neil did great through the whole thing. I think this showed me what a great team we make. He held my hand and was quiet most of the time--only offering encouragement just when I needed it. Amazing how he knew exactly what to do--I could not have asked for a better "wing man". He was perfectly strong and gentle at the same time. Just what I needed.

I started pushing at around 5:45 and Adalei came at 5:55--5 lbs and 15 oz--and 19 3/4 inches long. I think I pushed through 4 contractions with no tearing--YIPEE. The doctor said I was free to start running in two weeks (so if you are keeping track--that's one week from TODAY!). I'm already on the elliptical and feeling great--so fingers crossed that this is an easy transition.

So was it worth it--the whole pain thing. Absolutely. I loved the feeling of Adalei coming into this world--a feeling I didn't entirely have with Layla. It forced me to be 100% present...100% in the moment. Adalei was alert enough to nurse and nurse GREAT for the first 45 minutes of her life. I was able to hold her without her being rushed to the nursery. I also declined her Hep B shot--which I'm sure she appreciated.

Do I feel empowered? more than I felt empowered by running hills or nursing my babies or cleaning poopy diapers...or making a dinner that Neil loved. I do feel grateful that God gave me a body that could endure childbirth easily. I feel grateful that the whole experience makes me want to have more (Neil asked in the hospital when I'd be ready for more...HA! I love that he loves babies in our house!). So grateful...not so much empowered.

I will say this to all of you who are thinking of natural childbirth--make CERTAIN you specify to the nurse that you want your delivery table set up when you get to 6cm. That was the loudest banging and clanging I have EVER heard...and not very pleasant when you are in pain.

AHH...I hear that sweet little cry in the bedroom...I think its milk time! Moo!

I'll post more later...I'm dying to get my thoughts down on sweet little Layla and how she's doing with the new baby! She's great...better than expected--mommy on the other hand...having a pretty hard time seeing my first baby looking so big...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Today's the DAY...I hope

Tricky little Adalei...she has been tempting us with the thought of her presence for what seems like DAYS. I had a doctor's appointment last Friday and the nurse when ahead and stripped my membranes. From what I read, in about 90% of pregnant women--stripping their membranes sends them into labor within 72 hours. I am part of that 10% who get NOTHING but some slight discomfort.

Sunday proved to be pretty interesting. I had some mild contractions that started 30 minutes apart and quickly moved to 6-7 minutes apart along with bleeding. So Monday morning found us at the doctor's office just to check and see what was going on. I was dilated 4.5 cm....YAY! So they recommended I either stay at home and walk or that I check into the hospital. Neil and I opted to go home and walk. So I did--and contractions picked up a little. On Monday evening, we went to the hospital but I was still just at 5 cm. The doctor on call wanted me to stay and said he'd break my water, see how I progressed and then give me some pitocin. Uh, no thanks. SO, Neil and I decided to come home and wait it out. I did find out this interesting bit of knowledge. I have A+ blood--apparently women with A+ blood tend to have pretty slow "early" labor but really REALLY quick labor once they reach the 6-7cm dilated part. NICE! I'll take that.

But here I sit. Wednesday morning--still waiting it out. I think I have this crazy fear of going to the hospital too quick and giving into getting the meds that I really want to avoid. But the good news...contractions are much closer and much stronger. I believe that today is going to be the day--hopefully even this morning! But we'll see. I'm slowly learning that my sweet little Adalei is going to be stubborn like her mommy and want to do things HER way. Agh, genetics...I LOVE IT!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


So I was told by my friend Natasha on our walk today that I needed to update my blog :-) And she's probably right.

For all those of you who are curious--NO BABY YET! I thought she was coming this morning, but contractions are still holding steady at 10 minutes apart. I remember going through this with Layla...seemed like 24 hours straight of contractions that wouldn't get any closer than 10 minutes apart! Sheesh!

Which, I guess we are very fortunate that today--or at least this morning/afternoon is not the time. Layla has been out of sorts today--bless her little heart. She's been so weepy--Neil accused her of crying like a 13 year old girl--100% dramatic with no clue as to what starts the seemingly endless flow of tears. Poor thing...she's been quite needy for her mommy and I've been so happy to carry her around the house because I know that her time of being my one and only baby is almost up...okay, now I'm going to start crying! Neil has his hands FULL today :-)

SO, if any of you guys feel led, please say a little prayer for Layla...I'm hoping that her little sister waits until tomorrow so that we can have a fresh start and hopefully a better day!

I'll keep ya'll posted :-) I hope.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Still hanging in there

So, no baby yet :-) I seriously believe that those peeps at the doctor's office were WAY wrong in moving my due date from Dec 2nd to November 20th. I just don't feel anything...but we'll see.

Just a quick little top three that I'd like to share with all my pregnant and non-pregnant buddies out three things mommies to be DO NOT want to hear once we reach the 35 week mark...ready? Okay.

(1) You're still here?
(2) When are you going to have that baby?
(3) My gosh, you look like you're ready to pop (thankfully--haven't ever had this said to me, but it just sounds harsh)

I think the most common thing I hear is the first..."you're still here???" UGH...isn't there an obvious answer to that question? The lady at my local grocery store asks me that EVERY TIME I go in--so I've started going when she's not working and I've even avoided that store because its so annoying. I mean, how many times can I gracefully say, "yep, still here--guess the little one isn't ready to meet us just yet".

Whew. Okay. I feel better now :-) Feel free to add to my list, should you feel like venting just a little. I think there is just something about being pregnant that makes us targets for TONS of unsolicited advice and random tummy rubs from people.

You guys have a great rainy Monday...I'm off to do everything they say do to bring on labor. Clearly running does not help. Hot chili sauce and eggs for breakfast?? Yummy :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Preggo Pictures--Doctor's Appointment and Hot Pics

WELL, dad and I finally made a point of doing a maternity session :-) Bless his heart, he had his work cut out for him--I didn't want to do the cheesy smiling at my belly pictures so most of them were kind of pensive--but my pensive face doesn't lend itself to photography. Dad wore himself OUT telling me to stop scowling...combine that with my not-so-huge belly and it was an interesting afternoon. Dad did great...I'm always so proud and blown away every time I have the opportunity to watch him behind the camera.

SO...this is one that dad shot in film with his new lens...would you believe this had NO photoshop done to it...he's pretty incredible, that dad of mine :-) Its not on his blog/website so I thought I'd add it here because
wow...FILM is so beautiful.

SO stop by their blog to see the pictures and his sweet little write up--it just makes my heart swell when I think of how blessed I am to be loved by my daddy SO much--and he just makes me so darn proud to be his little girl! Okay...enough of that or I'm going to become a teary eyed pregnant woman which isn't pretty :-) Here's the url...check it out when you can and enjoy...

I had my 38 week appointment today...WOW its going by so so so fast! I thought I would go early, but now I'm wondering. I've read a lot of new medical studies that have come out over the past several months regarding pregnant women who exercise strenuously during each trimester. Oddly enough, because a body is so good at adapting to demands, pregnant women who exercise, in particular run, are far less likely to deliver a pre-term baby...who'd a thunk? Not me.

Anyway--like most of my pregnant buddies, my belly measured small today--34 cm instead of 38. So the doctor wanted me to have another ultrasound--SWEET! I knew (and he did too) that everything was fine--it was just a precautionary measure. He said he thought it was because Adalei has dropped and because I just carry small babies (thank you Lord for that blessing)...but its standard procedure to recommend an ultrasound and most mommies don't mind. SO I scheduled it for later in the afternoon so that my hubby could come too...and boy were we given a treat...

The sonographer was so sweet--she spent lots of time showing us everything from her brain to her kidneys and even her little lungs practicing for the big day--and her feet, lodged up in my rib cage. Best of all, she treated us to a 4D or 3D--not really sure--ultrasound. It was INCREDIBLE!

Here are some pictures from the ultrasound. They make me CRAZY wanting to hurry up and hold her and kiss that sweet little mouth. I almost melted when I saw it...GAH baby mouths are so flipping sweet! she is in all her smushed up beauty. Poor thing is so low that it was very hard to get a good picture without something being in the way--namely my bladder and her hand.

Look at her sweet little mouth..her eyes are covered by a shadow, but the lower right side is her little nose and her mouth...yeah, I'm definitely going to drive her CRAZY kissing that little mouth!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dancing Queen

This was too good to pass up :-) Layla's newest dance moves are quite comical--they almost resemble the moves of the 50+ year old women (who've enjoyed a little TOO much wine) on the dance floor at a wedding...HA!

Somehow my little red head manages to brighten up EVERY day...she makes me look forward to having (God willing) a house full of special little personalities one day! And moments like this (among the million other little moments) make my job satisfaction level skyrocket...ahh the joys of being a mommy at home with her little ones!

PS-You are getting a sneak preview of her Fancy Nancy Halloween costume...this was take after a trip to Walmart for more "fancy ribbons" can tell she REALLY needed more fancy ribbon :-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

33 Weeks...'s appointment went well yesterday. Adalei was moving like crazy (which isn't odd for her)--even managing to cause some surprise with the doctor at how well he could feel her shoulders through my belly.

I found out the the little internal "pinch" that I feel only when I'm running or cleaning house is really just a frustrated little baby girl pushing down on my bladder. The doc said it may cause some incontinence (such a nice way to put "pee your pants")....I laughed and told him it was something I'm not really a stranger to (see post on doing speedwork pre-pregnancy). He didn't see the humor so much. UNCOMFORTABLE. Layla was with me and asked me a million questions about--"inconstanance" (ha) to which I just responded that sometimes mommies need diapers too. At least I got a laugh out of her. As a side note, I can no longer bring Layla with me to appointments. Two weeks ago, the OB that I go to had FOUR moms show up with sick toddlers...sick like flu sick! Incredible. In an OB of all places!

Weight gain is good....looking very similar to how I did with Layla--probably will gain the same amount of weight as I did with her. The doctor I saw yesterday seems to think that there is no reason why Adalei will not be around the same birth weight as Layla was (6 lb 8oz), which he said would make for a rather easy and speedy delivery--SWEET! My belly is actually measuring the same at this point as it did with Layla--30 cm--so that was the best indication of Adalei's size.

He read my charts with Layla and was really surprised that I only pushed 4 times and didn't tear. I told him God made me especially for having babies and that I intended to fulfill my purpose and have LOTS (again--although I kind of thought I was being sign of humor in the ol' doc). All that being said, he seems to think I'll have no problems with labor this time around and will be fine to do it without any medication--unless Adalei is coming out in some weird position or if something happens to cause them to have to do a c-section.

SO...all was good. Layla enjoyed the visit--and got a cupcake from Whole Foods out of it. DUDE, the looks I got strolling through Whole Foods at 10am while my little redhead ate a mini cupcake (chocolate of all things) was PRICELESS! No, it wasn't granola or fruit, but she's well worth a mini cupcake for morning snack every now and then....and yes, we were both wearing leather shoes and YES...I threw my trash in the landfill trash bin by accident. Obviously, I do NOT belong in the aisles of Whole Foods :-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


SO...guys...WOW has the past few days been amazing or what?!

Yesterday we went live with the website for Run 4 Revolution--and the response was incredible! Within hours, we had EIGHT new runners on the team, two nice BIG donations and countless requests to be added to the mailing list! I guess for me, the incredible part was seeing God work in such a GIANT way. I can honestly say that I have never felt such a unique sense of joy in all my fact, for a while today I was wondering what exactly it was that I was feeling. I think it must be a very nice combination of being humbled, blessed and overjoyed by what God has already done in just 24 hours with Run 4 Revolution.

If you haven't done so yet...stop by the website and sign up for the mailing list...I probably will not be posting anymore about R4R here as the website sort of serves as a blog as well.

In other news...
I am just now getting into my 32 week of pregnancy! WOW it has gone by so fast. I'm blessed by being able to get out and run, but I am opting to run in the early AM before it gets light out so as to avoid the crazy looks I get from fellow Lexingtonians :-) So I'm still doing between 5-7 miles each day and my long run is around 8.5 on Fridays.

Dad is going to be doing my "maternity session" next week and I am so excited about the fun pictures we are going to be taking....I can't wait to post them. I went ahead and had him take a picture the other day for my baby shower on Sunday and here's what he came up with...I think its perfect! I wanted to have something that everyone could sign to go in Adalei's little room. I think she'll like this :-)
I think that's it, for now....I need to post some video of Layla...she's getting funnier by the day and has become quite the chatter box. Looks like mommy needs to get the Flip camera out :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Run 4 Revolution

Glad I caught your attention with the title :-)

So what is a revolution....
Derived from the Latin word "revolutio", revolution means "a turn around". I like that. And you all know I love running. What most of you may not know about me is that I have had this ache in my heart, for YEARS, for those sweet little innocent children (over a million of them) all over the world who fall victim to sex trafficking--children who are ripped from their homes and sold into forced prostitution, some as young as 4!

Without getting into to much of a back story, one of my great friends (who many of you know), Lindy Thompson, contacted me several weeks ago regarding a burden that had been on her heart. She wanted to find a way to combine running (a passion of hers) and her desire to help the the millions of children that I mentioned above. And wow...after a few emails--okay so close to 100 (some long...some very short---she's a missionary in Kenya so I've found that African Internet requires A LOT of patience) Run 4 Revolution was born. Oddly enough, we both have been reading some of the same books and have had something stirred in us to actively support ONE specific organization that addresses human trafficking like no other organization we've found. Who would have thought! Its like the perfect storm of "passions" really!

SO, Lindy and I are starting what we hope will be a monster of an organization that works like a worldwide track club where members sign up to run races and raise money for the International Justice Mission's effort with human trafficking under the banner of Run 4 Revolution. If you have not heard of the International Justice Mission, please take some time to check them out. If you haven't met my dear friend Lindy...please check out her blog here.

Adalei and I will be running the Ardmore 5K in Winston Salem on October 17th to raise money---wanna contribute to Run 4 Revolution's efforts even if you can't run....leave me a comment expressing your interest and I'll get you details on how to contribute to one of the best causes I know....seeking justice for children sold into forced prostitution.

I hope you all can tell I am beside myself with excitement. I can't wait to see how God uses this...I will be sure to let you all know once the website if up and running. Lindy and I just couldn't keep it to ourselves any longer!

In the meantime, some other ways you can help...

~Educate yourselves on human trafficking
~Read books on human trafficking. I recommend "Terrify No More" by Gary Haugen
~Pray about joining R4R- EMAIL US if you would like to learn how to get started or get involved.
~Help us get the word out
~Tell your friends who run or want to get started
~Most importantly, start running/walking several minutes a day. Use that time to focus on praying for these victims (I LOVE this one)
~And stay tuned as the next few posts reveal more about how you can help

Friday, September 25, 2009


Neil is in Savannah this weekend, leaving us girls here to fend for ourselves. I normally get really excited about having the house all to myself for a day or two--turning the baby monitor up as loud as it can go (I like to know I can hear Layla from anywhere in the house---still a little neurotic, I guess), sleeping in my full flannel PJs, watching the latest and greatest smut on TV without having to share, and reading books in bed until late. BUT, this time is different. I miss him already and he's only been gone for three hours. Heck, I missed him before he walked out of the door this morning. I miss him in the pit of my stomach--like someone just told me I'd have to live on rice cakes until Sunday. I guess missing is a good thing...I know how excited I'll be when Sunday rolls around.

So Layla, Adalei and I are off to my mom and dad's for the night...which should be fun as long as Layla goes to sleep at a decent time :-) Its been a long time since I've had the pleasure of crashing at their house for the night--probably since the last time Neil went to Nashville. So this will be fun. Fixing dinner with night on the couch with dad, popcorn and peanut butter crackers and the COLDEST Pepsis in Thomasville. YIPEE!

She's getting funnier by the day. She's become quite adept at stalling tactics and is constantly picking up something new. Her latest thing....she wants to "shoot the breeze" about EVERYTHING. She even interrupts prayer time for clarification on where each person mentioned sleeps and whether or not they sleep in a crib or a big girl/boy bed. It literally takes us a good 10-15 minutes to get through one night-night prayer. I inevitably leave something or someone out and at Layla's request, have to start over. Nice! She's started saying most of the prayer by herself but then asks that I chime in somewhere in the middle because she "forgets". Obviously, I don't do a great job at remembering either :-)

She's learned how to spell her name, she learned her address (even the city she lives in), and we are working on writing letters. Yesterday she wrote "Ls" and Ms" all day, but I've got to get started on a preschool type letter book. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Her daddy has successfully taught her that Glen Beck is a very smart man :-) She watches "dat man" with daddy in the evenings while I'm getting dinner ready. It is so darn cute to see the two of them snuggled on the couch watching the news. Her attention span is rather short for grown up talk, so she often interrupts with a request to draw or cut paper and Neil obliges--turning the TV off. I'm a lucky girl--I have a really great husband (who still, by the way, insists that I am "hot as fire" even with my belly...yeah, I definitely got more than I deserved when I married him).

Nothing new with baby Adalei...still kicking like crazy--really crazy....she's much stronger than Layla was at this time...UGH OH...I don't know what that means?? She's seems kind of funny about being she really kicks back if Layla starts pressing on my tummy or if I'm doing something that scrunches her up :-) hummmmm?

Thanks for taking the time to read my nonsense. I should be posting something REALLY great coming up...starting something new with a friend that is really starting to allow me to work with two big passions of mine...YAY...can't wait to share with you all!

You're reward for sticking with me...a picture of Layla...I know, you're welcome :-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

decision time

SO, I have talked it over with Neil--at great length--and we've decided that if all goes well (meaning Adalei isn't breached or there aren't any uncontrollable circumstances that would require a c-section) I will deliver without an epidural. There. Its out. Now I'm committed for sure :-)

As funny as it sounds, one of the BIG things that I missed shortly after Layla was born was the labor and delivery process. I LOVED being in labor with her (perhaps there's something to that and my love of long distance running). So I knew that I wanted to experience the miracle of childbirth in its entirety--pain and all--but I wasn't so sure about Neil. I can imagine how difficult it must be for a husband to watch his wife in pain and not have the ability to take it away or make her feel better. But, after a lot of research and knowing that my low blood pressure may create a problem with the epidural, we decided to go for it. AND I CAN'T WAIT!

Hopefully I can use this blog to keep up with the things that I'm learning...both before, during and after birth. I hope to keep track of how I do during the whole process, along with Adalei, Neil and the doctors. It will be interesting trying to do natural childbirth in a hospital setting. I know with Layla I didn't really do a birth plan because they seemed so silly to me, but I'm thinking this time I will do a really flexible, tiny little birth plan--so I'll make sure to post that too.

I'm looking forward to this, guys...looking forward to learning some new things and experience life in a way that God reserved just for me...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Air poops--and belly pictures

Okay, so two COMPLETELY unrelated items...but I had to share this story about "air poop".

SO...sweet little Layla had WAY too much fiber yesterday between the oatmeal for breakfast and apple for afternoon snack. She was much too busy to try and potty--so the result was a gasy little Layla. Last night as she was jumping on our bed and enjoying a nice game of tickle monster, she proceeded to let out at LEAST 4-5 stinky air bubbles from her tummy. Layla calls them "air poops", which I'll give her this---it makes a ton of sense. Anyway--I couldn't help but laugh and ask her where she got all that air in her tummy. She looked at Neil and I very matter-of-fact and said, "I filled up at the gas station." I laughed harder at her than I have in a long time--tears streaming down my cheeks and everything. She was so quick on her feet with that one--gas in her belly must come from a gas station, right?


Okay...and finally---here's a picture of little Adalei--I'll be 28 weeks tomorrow--only 12 more weeks to go! Boy, this pregnancy has gone by WAY too fast. Neil suggested taking the front view because he insists that my belly looks bigger from the front--HA and I took it as a huge compliment :-) The funniest thing is that you can see how Adalei is all the way on my left side (the right side of the picture). For some reason, she seems to spend most of her time on that side, even though I encourage her to move a little--because it feels WAY strange to have all of her knotted up on one side....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

still here....

So I'm sitting here just tap tap tapping on the keyboard. I know I have something on my mind...just nothing seems really noteworthy. I've been taking mental inventory of what's been going on each morning while I run HOPING that something would jump out and be blog worthy...but sorry folks...there's nothing.

Layla is continuing to put me in stitches with her antics and make me proud of her for the way she's growing up. Neil is finally experiencing what its really like to father a daughter (or at least for now...not sure what middle and high school will hold). Layla has started crying for random reasons--mostly because she just feels a little "off". I can empathize, but poor Neil isn't so privy to the spectrum of female emotions. I finally developed a new house rule (for my sake and Neil's) that only one member of the Broere household is allowed to be whiny/grumpy at a time. I'm thinking of further limiting it by developing a "whine" pass that can only be used once a week and when necessary. Once the "whine" pass has been used, it will be locked away until the next week. Should a member of the family whine without the pass, they will not receive even the smallest amount of sympathy :-) HA...okay so maybe that's taking it a little too far. Can I just say that I really REALLY have a hard time mustering up any sympathy for whininess...I just can't take it--but I'm trying.

Baby Adalei is doing great...she starting to have those really BIG movements where my entire tummy shifts. The other morning at around 3:45 I had to get up with Layla and Adalei decided she'd join the party--much to Layla excitement. After I put Layla back in her bed, I laid down only to experience Adalei stretching out length way in my stomach. I looked down to see my tummy resembling a pancake...strange. And, she had her first set of hiccups the other week---adorably annoying when it happens a 4am :-) I had to fight off giggling for fear of waking up Neil, but it was just so darn cute (for about 5 minutes). She's started reacting to Neil's voice and his hand on my tummy--and I think she really enjoys hearing Layla giggle and talk (that seems to be when she gets REALLY active). I'm seriously considering/almost decided to have a natural childbirth with little Adalei--just to get the full experience of labor and what God created my body to do. I'll keep ya'll posted on that.

Running is still going great...I've yet to cut back on it, but it'll come. I'm still feeling really great--except for those 10 minutes when my alarm first sounds that I have that mental battle to be lazy. A little old lady at the track by my house (the same one I've seen walking there for the past year) informed me just the other day that I, "really shouldn't be doing what you are doing". Interesting. I briefly entertained the idea of stopping to introduce myself and argue my point, but decided it was a lost cause AND that her intentions were probably good--misguided, inappropriate, but good :-)

All in all--its been a great couple of weeks. Neil still hasn't started on the kitchen...and I've stopped holding my breath for new counter tops....maybe for my anniversary next year :-) Layla is doing great--and so is Baby Adalei. Whew. Done...and you guys know that we are still alive and well over here.

OH-and I'll update this with a new belly picture as soon as Neil gets in.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kitchen and baby update

We have officially put off doing the kitchen until after the baby....YAY! I feel like I can breathe a little easier now. We're moving our new cabinets and appliances to my aunt's basement (thanks a BILLION times Aunt Sharon) and Neil is going to refinish our existing cabinets and do some cement counter tops (which I am REALLY excited about). You know me...I am not one that likes a lot of different variables and I'm not one to like things that do not move in a somewhat organized flow--so Neil and I decided that this would not be a good time to renovate an old kitchen. WHEW!

I had my 25 week check up today...little Adalei is doing great. Today was the first time I was able to see the doctor that delivered Layla and he is such a riot. He came into the delivery room with Layla looking like they just pulled him out of bed and talking in incomplete sentences. I thought it was the early hour, but today...better hair, but still some crazy mixed up sentences. The good thing--he is a runner....and avid one at that. He is running the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall and has plans to qualify for Boston. SO I was really able to talk to another runner and doctor about my runs.

When I told him I was still doing 12 mile runs, his eyes told me what I dreaded hearing...TOO MUCH running. Well, he wouldn't tell me NOT to run that much, but he did say that I have to be really careful because over the next month, little Adalei's blood flow needs will double (and my ability to supply those needs won't change that much). SO, because running requires more demand for blood flow to my body and hers--and her demands will be greater even when I'm not running...I will have to back off to about 8 mile long runs. He joked that he would make out a written doctor's note if I needed it--to make me feel better. HA! He is a runner, indeed.

SO, I think I'm going to try and squeeze in another 12-13 mile run and be a good listener and scale it back to 8 miles. I've already thought, "hum, well if I'm just doing 8, then I can do some speed work and make them 8 faster miles"....I AM SO STUBBORN--one of the many many areas in my life that I have been focusing on and praying about for months. I'm getting better with my hubby, but I have a long way to go in other areas :-)

OH and baby name is officially....

Adalei (pronounced AdaLAY) Grace Broere the first :-)

I think she'll like it...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Extreme home makeover--kitchen edition

Dad and I finished another 13 mile run last night. It was a nice night for venting our political frustrations--well mostly dad because it was all I could do sometimes to squeeze out an "uh huh". We ran fast last night....8:08 minute miles (yes dad, I was so curious that I calculated it on when I got in last night). It was the first run thus far where, by the 12th mile, I could really feel the weight of this belly. I'm guessing my abdominal muscles just got tired on me...that's all I can figure. It was the most strange feeling. I wasn't sure if I was going to wet myself or tip over face first...hahahaha. Looks like I'm going to be investing in a belly band--especially for those long runs.

Little Adalei is still enjoying them, as far as I can tell. She lets me know she had fun by kicking me for the entire night following those long runs. Seriously--dad and I finish up around 10:30 pm and she doesn't stop until around 2am.

SO-big week at the Broere house....
Neil is getting started on the kitchen--finally. I'm not a nagger...never have been, but I have been biting my tongue for about 2 weeks regarding that kitchen. You see, the new cabinets and appliances that are going into the kitchen are currently housed in our old bedroom (interesting) because I didn't want to spend money on storage and Neil and I have been up in the spare bedroom (which will now belong to Adalei) for months. In order to get Layla to a big girl bed, because we need her crib for Adalei, I have to get our bed back downstairs, the crib in Adalei's room and all of Layla's new furniture moved into her room. Its like Chinese checkers over here, guys. AND Layla is dying for us to paint her room pink and purple. So, I picked out a lovely shade of Sassy Lilac for her new "big girl" room and am going to suck it up and look for pink accessories. Can you tell that I LOATHE pink...LOATHE it. Mom says I loved it when I was Layla's age--must have been an awkward age for me or something? :-) Anyway, thank God for a capable husband and a willing family. We are truly blessed to have so many family members and friends asking to help out.

So for the next week, we'll be loitering at my parents while Neil does the demo on the current kitchen. I'm praying that all goes as planned and there are not major bumps in the road. But, with a sweet little house that celebrated its 75th birthday this year, I'm thinking its not going to be easy. Even installing new toilets has proved challenging for my o-so-talented husband. I guess that's what happens when rooms aren't quite square.

AND, my classes start back this week. I'm having a hard time getting geared up for teaching government this semester. I can't tell if its that I have other, more interesting things on my plate or if its the knowledge that its going to be AWEFUL difficult to hold back on my opinions this semester. Time will tell, I guess.

Oh yes and update on Layla--
After a hard couple of needy days at the beach, I think she is finally getting back to her normal self. She played upstairs in her room yesterday for about 20-30 minutes without me--I consider that a success after the last 2-3 weeks. She even went down for bed last night without begging for my presence via "one more hug" and "one more kiss"--"mommy, I need YOU...I need YOU right now". I was very proud of her...and happy my heart wasn't being yanked in a different direction than my head. We'll see what today holds--I'm praying for more moves in the positive direction :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What happened to Ms. Independent

She is communicating so well now...I am constantly surprised by what comes out of that little mouth and enjoy a pretty good laugh on a daily basis as well.

She's been going through a really strange stage lately that I think is pretty normal but it tears me apart. She's always been SUPER independent and has never been one who required a ton of my attention. Lately though, she's been stitched to my side (which I kind of enjoy right now). She cries when I leave and when I'm not here if she happens to wake up before I get back from a morning run. She wants me with her in gymnastics--even though she doesn't pay me any attention.

What I really think is happening is this: I feel like at this age, she has started to experience some real independence with the potty and with doing things (like gymnastics) on her own without my help and without me around. And while she loves being independent, I think it is a little overwhelming for her and probably a little scary. In my mind, I'm comparing it to when I left for college and how I wanted so badly to be back at home for the first couple months.

Fortunately since she's our only one right now, I'm able to arrange my schedule so that I minimize my time away from her and make sure that I'm here when she wakes up. I'm also learning a lot in toddler gymnastics, like how to walk like a crab and do a proper front roll. I hope I'm not making her rotten, but I really feel like this is a temporary stage where she needs me to be predictable and she needs me to be present and more importantly she needs me to encourage her to do things on her own. We are now on week 2, so we'll see how temporary this is :-) I may be soliciting help with a rotten child in a few months...

She's growing and moving like crazy. In fact, she wakes me every morning at 5:15 for our morning run with some very strong kicks to my ribs. Its funny--the other day I was determined to sleep in and run in the afternoon but baby girl was so persistent that I crawled out of bed and answered her call to go out for run. I think it must rock her to sleep or something, because I swear she's addicted to it. I think the first thing I'll buy her is a sleek pair of running shoes :-)

I almost gave it up last week due to some CRAZY round ligament pain. Its getting incredibly taxing to even finish a 7 mile run. I feel heavy and lethargic until about the 6-7th mile. Which makes 5 mile runs sort of hard, but strangely enough 8+ mile runs easier. I am starting to feel the weight of my belly when I run and am going to look into a running skirt with some support. I'm hoping to maintain my 12 mile long runs for a least another month or two before I start cutting it back to 8 or 9 mile long runs. I'm hanging on ad hard as I can...and trying to prepare myself for the time when I discover that I have to do more walking than running. Hopefully that won't happen until my 8th month :-)

Finally, Neil and I have started making a point of doing devotions together each morning and we are learning so much about God and about each other. I can't wait to fill you all in on the things that God is doing in our lives, but for now it'll have to wait...I heard my laundry buzzer go off 10 minutes ago and if I don't hop to it, I'm going to have a nice little pile of ironing to do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

sugar, spice and everything muddy belly pictures, but this little video clip will do. As a little side note, Neil and I just bought a Flip Video camera...sort of looks like an iPod...and WE LOVE IT. Its portable and easy and could quickly take the place of all of our still photos. And best of all, its Mac compatible (whew). Who knew it would be so hard to find a video making device that was Mac compatible!

This little ditty was taken at 21 weeks--OVER HALF WAY THROUGH the pregnancy (OKAY-you are going to have to go to YouTube to see me...this blog template cut off part of the video). I feel like I have---ehhheemm Neil has--so much more to do before baby girl gets here :-) This is Layla's favorite place on Earth. The funny thing is that she has no desire to look at or eat the candy, its mostly about all the stuffed animals. You can see from the video that she makes a bee line straight past the lollipops, bubble gum and chocolates (unlike her mommy) for the teddy bears and pink poodles :-)

Finally, this little clip is my new favorite. Make sure you notice Layla little hands. She was playing in the mud--while wearing a little girlie pink outfit. In this clip, she was helping daddy put together our new porch fans. She put together her outfit--complete with camo hat and pencil--so that she could be just like her daddy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just say NO

Hey guys...I'm sorry for being MIA for a while. I've started running in the mornings--and Layla has started waking up earlier so all of my blogging time is GONE! I could probably squeeze something out at night...but I get REALLY lazy once Layla is down for bed and my cup of ice cream starts calling my name.

Speaking of running...its still going great. I'm starting to slow down a little and my muscles are starting to ache after longer runs. I guess its the shift in my center of gravity that is putting strain on some random muscles--which makes for a great workout. My 20 week check up was great...and the doctor said everything was super with the ultrasound. I'll try to get a tummy picture up soon because guys...ITS FINALLY GROWING like whoa. YAY!

And Layla...sweet little Layla. I'm sure you other parents out there can understand this predicament--Neil and I are having to really discipline her over something she picked up from a neighbor's child (who, by the way, disrespected both parents and wasn't corrected..YIKES). Our sweet little Layla has started saying "NO"--I should say yelling "NO" at both the most random and well placed times. Yesterday she woke up during the middle of her nap...sat up in bed...yelled "NO" and then went back to sleep. BUT, I think we are making progress. The last few times she yelled it at her stuffed animal friends--she ran to me, buried her head in my shoulder and cried--without me saying a word. So hopefully what comes next is her learning some self restraint with that word and learning how to say "no" appropriately. That's a hard one, guys...most adults don't learn how to speak politely and that sometimes you have to do things you'd rather not. AYE AYE AYE....I love this age--its challenge.

I hate to finish this up early, but I'm heading out the door to get a little 7 mile run in with my dad--its his birthday fun run :-) So stop by his website and wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY...he'd love it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

its a

Most of you have probably already heard by now...
But I wanted to make sure I shared it here too...................

Neil and I are being blessed with another little girl.  We are thrilled beyond belief.  We would have been happy either way, but I think deep inside we wanted another little girl.  And I think we've got her name picked out :-)  But I should probably keep it a secret for just a little while longer until I get a firm "yes" from the hubby (even though he's already calling her by name).

More important than the gender, she looks perfectly healthy.  She has a strong and well developed heart and aorta (148 bps).  The placenta looks great and her little cord is really thick and strong (must be all the dairy that I've been craving).  All her organs are as they should be.

We saw her sucking her thumb (ADORABLE), resting her head in her hands (must have been thinking some deep thoughts), crossing her feet (just like her big sister) and hiding from us.  I am so excited to see her personality because she already seems so different than little Layla.

And on that note...Here is clip Neil took of Layla at gymnastics on Tuesday.  This is typical for her...she is super competitive and has a hard time waiting her turn.  She's learning, but we think its hilarious to watch her in action--not waiting her turn.  This clip is where she is learning to do seat drops...poor little girl in purple didn't even see the red blaze coming.  And I swear Ms. Portia is a saint--the way she handles all those little girls...GEEZE, she is blessed with patience for sure.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blue or pink

Its been so long after a week's vacation at the beach and going on a blogging hiatus

Oh--we find out what we are having on Wednesday!  Neil and I are so excited we can hardly stand it.  And the little one is moving like a crazy guy/girl.  I don't remember Layla being this active so early on, but it could be a second pregnancy thing (or it could be there is a little more excitement around with a 2 year old to get the baby going crazy).  Layla is convinced she's having a sister like Fancy Nancy, but we've prepared her for a super cool little brother too.  I think I'll just be happy to see the baby again and know everything is okay.  

I think this one is sitting really low too because I am already running to the bathroom CONSTANTLY.  It gets interesting during long runs...lets just say I am very familiar with all the hiding spots along my and dad's route.  

Layla is changing so much every day...she's just growing up too fast and is turning into quite the conversationalist.  I am constantly surprised by the things she talks about.  I have TONS of video from the beach that I'm going to try and put together to post really soon so that you guys can see her in action :-)

Dad and I just got in from Georgetown this evening--super cool place, by the way.  We had a meeting with a wedding planner and it went great (and I got to indulge in my latest craving for sushi--well for cucumber rolls because raw fish is a NO NO--but OH MY GOODNESS was I a happy camper or what).  Exciting things around the corner for Black Daffodil and for Autumn Song...

So I think that's all for now.
I'll post on Wednesday and let you know what we find out (and hopefully I'll have some videos of Layla and the beach trip as well).

Any guesses on what it is....right now we've got a pretty even split among our friends.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Growing belly and my little star

First, another belly picture.  This one is at 19 weeks..almost half way to baby--its going by so quickly this time.  I think I can be really proud of this one (the belly shot) and even more proud of the next one...its starting to grow grow grow!

Okay, so here is the video of Layla.  She insisted on her tutu because the music video had ballerinas on it...and she tried her hardest to perfect their dancing.  After about three dress rehearsals, she was ready to be filmed.  Although you may start to find it kind of boring....wait until the end when she hits the high note.  She told me afterwards that it was her FAVORITE part of the song.  

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star from Black Daffodil Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Past curfew

Belly pictures are coming as well as the video I promised...I just can't get my camera to download onto the computer (I dropped it on the hardwood floor a week ago and it just hasn't been the same).

But, I had to post this while it was on my mind.  

Dad came over yesterday to see Layla for a little while.  He's been on pins and needles to see her (even though he saw her on Monday) for the past two days and finally had a window of opportunity to get over here and see her yesterday afternoon.  He played most of the afternoon with Layla and then it was time to head for home.  As he was saying "bye" Layla begged to go with him and spend the night---this was the first time she's really really done that.  I was kind of surprised, but after I got the green light from dad...I let her go.  We packed all her night night stuff (bunnies, bears, pillow, sound machine) and she was off.  I believe I heard her mention ice cream and a movie as they were driving off.

As dad's disappeared around the corner, Neil and I just kind of looked at each other, not knowing what to do with ourselves.  We quickly decided on a bike ride and dinner at a restaurant uptown.  It was strange not having Layla with us on our bike ride (she normally sings the ENTIRE time) and it was unusual having dinner with just Neil.   Its been an embarrassingly long time since the two of us have had dinner together.  We ate and talked...came home...took a little walk because we couldn't get enough of talking to each other...and then settled down on the couch to read a little before finding a movie.

I called my mom at around 8 to make sure everything was going well--she said they were having a ball...Layla was running around the yard naked and Dad was squirting her down with a water hose. They had two kinds of ice cream and a Barney (??) movie ready to go.

At 11pm, my phone rang.  Dad was calling to say he was bringing Layla home.  She had not yet fallen asleep...they weren't willing to let her cry (THANK GOODNESS)...and she asked to go back home.  Dad said she thought she was done spending the night and was ready for something different.

Neil and I waited on the front porch....I looked over at him and told him that this better be the last time...for a VERY long time...that we were waiting past 11pm for Layla to get home.  HA!  And bless her heart, she was worn out.  But she feel asleep talking about ice cream and Barney and begging to go back to Nana and Poppy's to spend the night again.  Strange little thing.

So we'll see what today has in store...its 7:30 am and I already see her fuzzy little head sitting up in her bed ready to start the day....WHEW...gonna be a L-O-N-G morning.  Perhaps I should just take her to Nana and Poppy's for ice cream.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jesus and Walmart

Is it just me...or are 2 1/2 year olds some of the funniest people on the planet?  Layla has had me in stitches for the past week...mostly during prayer time.

On Sunday, Neil, Layla and me all went to church, as usual.  That morning when I was talking to Layla about getting ready to go to Jesus' house, she informed me that the last week she ate way too many Nila wafers and that made her go "gak".  I'm assuming it hurt her belly?  I suggested that this Sunday she should only eat one or two and save her appetite for a yummy lunch.  

SO, after church and lunch (where she informed me that she ate Cheerios for snack at Jesus house), we went upstairs to read some books and get ready for nap.  While I was singing to her, she put her little hand over my mouth, telling me to "stop that noise" (I like to think of it as beautiful music...but whatever) because she needed to say a prayer.  So I stopped and closed my eyes.  This is how the prayer proceeded:

Mommy:  Dear Lord, thank you for such a beautiful morning...thank you for the nice ladies at  church who do such a great job with Layla
Layla:  And Lord, I tink you need go to Walmart and get some more goldfish and Nila wafers...I not really like Cheerios.
Mommy:  Yes Lord, please make a trip to Walmart
Layla:  And you need to get a buggy for all those things too
Mommy:  Yes, don't forget the buggy.  Lord, please be with Layla while she rests.  Help her to sleep good and wake up with lots of energy to go swimming.
Layla:  And Lord, help that rest...I need to sing with him and use his microphone at church.

Now, Michael is the preacher and I just want to note that for the past two bedtimes and THREE nap times, we have had to pray for Michael to get good rest.  I have yet to figure that one out.  And the whole bit about needing to go to Walmart....I almost lost it because her little face was so serious.  

Finally...let me start by saying that Layla started using potty time as a stalling tactic for bed--she figured this out after only three days!  SO-I have started taking her before we sing songs and put her down and make sure she knows that its the last time until morning.  Yet, she still attempts to make another trip to the potty EVERY night and every afternoon before nap.  Last night, Neil helped her on the potty, so I wasn't there to make certain she knew it was the last time for the night.  SO, while I was singing, she asked over and over and over and over to use the potty.  I told her "no" after the fifth time and that she wasn't to ask again.  I told her she already went potty and she'd have to wait until morning.  Shortly after, we began our night time prayers that went something like this:

Mommy:  Dear Lord, thank you for such a great day.  Thank you for daddy and how hard he worked today.
Layla:  And Lord, help Layla...I really need pee pee on dat potty right now.

At this point I looked down at her and her little eyes were closed as tight as I've ever seen them.  I whispered to her to walk to the door so we could go potty one more time (I felt TERRIBLE), but that its not right to tell stories (to which she said she loved telling stories, especially stories about The Very Hungry Caterpillar)---uh, lies to mommy about things like needing to potty.  I explained to her the importance of being truthful.  She nodded and said she really had to use the potty.  So we went...and she was right.  

Although the little prayer was kind of comical, I was really proud of her for talking to Jesus about it.  Up until now, its been mostly a conversation to Jesus about her day and all the things she likes and doesn't this was an interesting change of topic.

Last but not least..
I have more belly pictures that I'll post tomorrow along with Layla's dance to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" complete with pink tutu.  The belly is really growing guys...I think I'm kinda proud of the latest little picture.  I was hoping to have a BIG belly by the beach next week, but I'll just have to settle for a medium sized belly that still looks a little awkward :-)

The little guy/girl has been moving like crazy lately..mostly after 1opm--must be the ice cream I eat at 9 every night.  Layla always got a little crazy after I'd eat ice cream too...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pinkerbelle the Great

Today we had our first experience with REAL LIFE pretend.  

Let me start by saying Layla got a book at a birthday party as part of a book exchange.  It didn't surprise me that she picked the book with a GIANT pink cupcake on the front...if you know her at all, you know that she LOVES cake...especially cupcakes and most especially pink ones with glittery frosting (I know...I'm still not sure where she gets it from) :-) ANYWAY, once we got home from the birthday party we had to read the book right away.  I was surprised to see how much of a brat the main character was.  Neil and I have had to change the words in the book to protect our sweet Layla just a little longer.  Had I read the book before, I would not have let her take it home...its THAT bad.  Just in case any of you moms out there want to know for reference, its called "Pinkalicous" and trust me...its awful--or was awful until we did some parental editing.

So today, while jumping on the trampoline, Layla decided she was no longer Layla Antoinette but was Pinkerbelle.  In fact, she asked that I not call her anything but Pinkerbelle.  I couldn't even call her sweetie or monkey or anything.   Only Pinkerbelle.  Then she insisted I take her swimsuit off because it was "green and Pinkerbelle is pink".  So my little naked Pinkerbelle jumped on the trampoline until lunch.  And before her nap, she wore nothing but a pink cape (blanket) around her room.

After her nap (which wasn't really a nap because she played the whole time), I thought the little game of pretend would be over.  Not so soon.  She woke up telling me she was a boy.  She only wanted to do "boy things" at the park and wanted to be called, "just Boy" all night long.  At the dinner table, she thought she could get away with bad manners by claiming she was Boy and boys stand in their seats and yell inside.  Fortunately her daddy is a great example and we foiled her plan by letting her know that daddy was a boy and boys eat dinner just like daddy.  When daddy left to smoke cigars with the boys tonight, Layla was somewhat mystified that she was not invited to the little soiree.  She didn't let up ALL night.  In fact, I had to refer to her as Boy during our prayers.  

I hope tomorrow morning my sweet little Layla girl is back because Boy is WILD and Pinkerbelle is kind of demanding :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baby belly and potty training (take 3) this week, I finally committed to getting Layla potty trained.  I firmly believe she was capable of being potty trained months ago, but she likes to do things on her terms (or at least I let her believe they are on her terms).  So as you can imagine, potty training was a difficult task because I have to lead the way and encourage her to sit on the potty even when she'd rather not.  But--we've had two days of success and no accidents...WHEW.  She even made it though gymnastics on Tuesday with big girl undies on.  I am so proud of her...I think she's proud too, even though she's asked me not to say "YAY" when she goes to the potty--so I do a silent "proud mommy" dance for her--which is quite amusing.    

The funniest story yet....
Yesterday I took her to Whole Foods because Neil was sick and it is so difficult to get rest with a little one running around.  So I had her sit on the potty twice before we left and right when we arrived at Whole Foods.  She didn't go either I'm starting to sweat it, thinking she's going to pee in the buggy at Whole Foods.  She didn't.  So we went again at Whole Foods before we left and no pee pee.  

So, I loaded up the car and off we went.  As soon as I got on the highway, she yelled out "Pee pee mommy".  I made a quick exit and noticed a Hardee's right off the highway.  Little did I know, it was the ghetto Hardees.  The bathroom was clean by fast food joint standards, but it reeked of peach air fresheners and old cigarette smoke.  When we entered the restroom, Layla looked at me and said, "ummmm smells good in some peaches".  HA, my eternal little optimist.  I wiped the potty down at least three times with a wipe covered in anti bacterial soap and popped her on top.  We sat for about 10 minutes and no pee pee.   Out to the car we went.  As soon as she was buckled in her car seat, she told me she had to go potty again.

In we the fabulous Hardees...this time for about 15 minutes and then SUCCESS.  We both laughed like crazy...I laughed because I had never spent so much time in a public restroom and I guess she was laughing because I was laughing.  All in all, I was so proud of her for telling me she needed to go potty and then actually doing it.

Fingers crossed that this attempt at potty training is a success :-)

Finally, as promised...a belly picture.  Its somewhat disappointing, I know.  I told Neil to make sure he was at an angle that made it look the biggest.  I don't think you'd ever hear a female ask her husband to take a picture of her belly and try to make it look big.  Oh well.  We tried--I even arched my back a little.  I guess this little one is going to be a tiny baby like Layla....I was really hoping for a big belly this time around...I still have five months to make it happen though :-)  Bring on the milkshakes.

Layla thought it amusing that I was having a picture of my belly made, so she wanted in on the action.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


no leg cramps last night :-) YAY.  I still woke up a dozen times or so  trying to stretch and then reminding myself of my propensity toward leg cramps...I'll learn eventually.

Thanks Michelle..I think the potassium did the trick.  Now if I can ONLY keep up with eating bananas and be more proactive than reactive.

Happy rainy Tuesday guys...I hope to have pictures of the Bean at gymnastics tonight and of my growing (yet still kind of embarrassingly wimpy) belly to post.

Monday, June 15, 2009

pain in the

So since I became a "runner" a little over a year ago, there has been one little thing that has given me a TON of enjoyment....

After running pretty consistently for a couple of months and picking up my mileage, I began to really enjoy how nice it felt to stretch my legs in bed.  I enjoyed it so much that I started having problems sleeping through the night because I'd wake myself up to stretch my legs (picture a cat stretching when it wakes up) every couple hours.  Eventually the joy of it lessened enough for me to only wake up at 6am to stretch out...and boy was it amazing--still is--well, until THIS morning.

My center of gravity has shifted over the past couple of weeks...apparently it happens almost immediately after your first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  I could tell my legs were tired at the end of any run that exceeded 5-6 miles.  This was kind of strange, because even in the midst all my marathon training (including hill repeats and speed work), my legs were never really tired--or at least what I would consider tired.  Sometimes they'd get a little sore and heavy after a 20+ mile run...but not the way they have been the past couple of weeks.  THEN I read this nice little article about exercising (particularly running) while pregnant.  APPARENTLY this little shift in my center of gravity has caused some random muscles to up their workload when I run...just to keep me from falling over (or forward).  Who knew?  I guess it explains way running is one of those sports where pregnancy makes you a better athlete.  

ANYWAY, I say all that to say that I'm back to square one with stretching in bed...But last night it was much less enjoyable.  Those of you who have been pregnant before know of those nice little calf cramps that kick in periodically during pregnancy.   Starting at about 4am this morning (during my 3-4 stretch of the night) I felt a little pull in my calf and knew it was coming.  I sat right up in bed beating the poo out of my leg until it went away.  Whew...note to self, noooo moooorrrreee stretching in bed.  Unfortunately, when I feel back asleep, I couldn't resist the urge and continued to wake myself up FOUR MORE TIMES.  Needless to say, after my run this morning, my right calf felt like I had worked it out something fierce.  When I got in from my run, I woke up Neil and apologized for being so crazy during the night.  He didn't notice a thing :-)  And he says he isn't a heavy sleeper!

I thought about taking a nap but am scared I'll try and stretch again...its pitiful really.  I guess this will break my habit once and for all...we'll see.  

As a side note, my hubby has started a new little venture...I say little, but its kind of a big deal :-)
He's in the final stages of starting his own micro-brewery, The White Star Beer Co.  I'm pretty darn excited about the kegs of  root beer and cream soda that they'll be making...but that's just me.  ANYWAY, check out his website when you get the chance at:

...hopefully soon he'll be up and blogging.  I'm trying to convince him to let the brewery's "web fans" vote on a name for one of the first beers because how cool would that be?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mommy leftovers

What a CRAZY weekend.

That wedding I filmed on Saturday was LONG.   I left my house at around 3pm and didn't get back home until 2:15am.  Whew...that's a lot of time to be on my feet.  Originally (before traffic stopped the charter bus with ALL the guests for an hour) the reception was going to be over at 11:30.  The closer it got to 11:30, mom, dad and I realized that THAT wasn't going to happen.  They actually didn't do their exit until 10 minutes past 1am!  I realized at that point that poor Neil AND Layla were going to be served "mommy leftovers" on Sunday morning.  

But all in all, you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day and for a sweeter family.  I'm sending the film off for processing today and am going to be waiting on pins and needles for the next three weeks.  I'm excited to see how the film is going to work with dad's stills.  I feel like we worked really well together and communicated nicely.  But getting film in is always a big surprise.

Finally, as promised, here is an attempt to get Layla singing "Jesus Loves Me. I'm still working on getting the WHOLE thing, but Layla is kind of or miss with the video camera.  Sometimes she'll smile and sing like crazy...sometimes she'll run the other way.  Maybe we'll try again today?  

Jesus Loves Me from Black Daffodil Films on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

everything about nothing, really

Few things...
I just sold my first 8mm wedding package :-)  Talk about an accomplishment.  It feels really good.  The bride and groom are from DC and the groom's grandfather worked for Kodak for 40 years.  SO, he was really familiar with Super 8 film and seems super excited.  For more of my thoughts on this, you can look at my other "business" blog ;)

Hummm so what else.  
Layla is doing great...up to her same old things...last night after putting her down for bed, I realized that her window unit air conditioner (YES, our house was built in 1940 so even though we have central air, the upstairs gets HOT and her room needs a window thing) came unplugged.  Because our house is so old, none of the outlets work like they are supposed to.  There is apparently a certain "touch" to getting the plug back into the wall and making the air conditioner work.  I found out that I do not have that touch.

SO as I'm struggling..UNDER her get the air on, I hear her little voice say, "peek a boo mommy...I see your bum".  At that point, I should have giggled at myself and her, but I was way to focused on getting the air conditioner plugged in and getting downstairs to my OJ and club soda (new pregnancy favorite, which I will discuss in a minute).   I told her to lay down, it was time for night night.  So she obliged and went into her third verse of "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore".  I guess I was making too much noise huffing and puffing because she stopped mid verse, looked over the edge of the crib and YELLED, "Hey mommy, what you doin' down there so loud".  In other words, keep it down, I'm trying to get some sleep up here.

Needless to say, after 10 minutes, I called in daddy to fix it...Layla seemed relieved that help was on the way--help she could trust would get it taken care of.  Daddy did, only 30 seconds.  Incredible.

WELL, running is going great.  I'm still doing about 35 miles a week running and 7 or so walking.  I've found that I can't think when I walk like I do when I I tend to opt for a run over a walk and only walk on days that my friend Toddy comes over.  

I'm finished with the yuck-o sickness, but still don't have much of an appetite--except for almonds, cottage cheese, yogurt, OJ and club soda, Total Bran Flakes, fruit and anything with tomatoes.  I still don't really have an appetite for two of my pre-pregnancy favorites, ice cream and popcorn...but I've gotten my appetite back for graham crackers and peanut butter...YAY!

okay so I think that's all of my little "everything about nothing" post....
hopefully next week will be a little more eventful or I'll be feeling a little more inspired to blog.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I should start by saying that I'm venting...a little...again.  I typically don't find "venting" very becoming of me, but I just can't help it this time.  I've sat on this for a couple of days because I just don't want to be obnoxious.  But here goes...just in case there are others out there somewhere who are running while pregnant...

So I finished another 12 mile run strong today...I was doubting myself for the first four miles.  I seriously thought of quitting and walking back to the car at least a dozen times.  I even imagined myself stopping without warning to dad.  But, I didn't...didn't even say a word.  I have this crazy notion that once I verbalize something, then I'm as good as done.  As long as I stay quiet, I'm good to go.  We're keeping an average pace of about 8:30 per mile, which really REALLY makes me proud.  So far, I've only gotten a few, unsolicited little tid bits of running advice from some very well-meaning people that really don't know much about running.  I think I've actually been told that need to back off and slow down or else risk the big "m" (a word that was used quite liberally to me, but I refuse to say--because WHO really throws that word around to a mom-to-be).  SO, for those well meaning but misinformed folks...HERE GOES:

The great news is that the baby is benefiting more than I even knew from all this running that I've done.  The doctor commented on my "maternal heartbeat" at Wednesday's TWO HOUR appointment (I'm still a little sore about that...can't you tell).  In fact, she said its really rare to hear such a strong maternal much so that the nurse couldn't dodge my heartbeat and find the baby's...the doctor had to come in and find it.  Apparently (according to the doctor), the baby reaps the benefit of his/her mom's heartbeat by a better oxygen/blood supply.  The doctor also credited running with the baby's incredible fetal activity.  Fetal activity is closely associated with increased blood supply from the placenta.  We've got quite the little swimmer on our hands.  So doctor's orders were to keep doing what I'm doing...

I think I'm just going to have to grow some tough skin because it probably won't get any better once I start showing.  I can't wait to blog about the looks I get from people...this may get interesting.

FINALLY and totally unrelated, I am so excited to report that dad is letting me shoot his 35mm film camera tomorrow.  Dad is really big on shooting deliberately (note: I didn't say conservatively because I feel those are two different things) rather than firing away with his camera and HOPING he gets the right shots.  If you get the chance, ask him about it...he's pretty passionate about this little topic and I always love to hear what he has to say.  One thing he feels pretty strongly about is that when one doesn't practice shooting deliberately, then you lose your ability to really SEE things.  I love that my dad is patient...I'm always impressed that he is so precise.  And I've never once seen him miss a shot.

SO I really take it as a HUGE compliment that he's trusting me to shoot some film....I can't wait to fill ya'll in on the results.  

Speaking of got a Mamiya film camera and took some pictures of Layla with it the other day.  Now I may be partial because (a) its my little one in the pictures and (b) I LOVE LOVE LOVE film...but this I thought these were some of the most beautiful pictures I've seen in a while.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

quick post..then I'm out for an early run with dad...

So I always---ALWAYS--walk into Layla's room and check on her before I go to bed each night.  It used to be multiple times (I was terrified of her suffocating on her bumper pad for months) but now its just once--okay maybe twice :-)  I love to stare at her sleeping.

ANYWAY, last night I walked in right after my bath, still wearing my towel.  I heard her stir a little when I walked into the room, so I started to tip toe.  You know how sometimes, even when its dark, you can tell someone is looking at you?  Well, I felt her looking at me and I got a little weirded out for some reason.  Then I saw her arm move a little so I quickly squatted down beside her bed where she couldn't see me if she woke up.  Next thing I knew, a little fuzzy red head was looking down at me saying, "hey mommy...sing one more song?".  SO...I picked her up as my towel hit the floor.  So there we were...10:30 pm rocking and singing "Hush Little Baby"--me naked as can be.  As I carried her back to the bed, she looked up and smiled and said, "I love you mommy" and then said, "need put your pjs on and go the BIG bed".  She was so sweet....and not at all shocked by my craziness--she was just excited to see me for a few extra minutes.

So I went off to bed and within 5 minutes, Neil and I were serenaded to sleep by her singing "Jesus Loves Me" over the baby monitor.  I think we all feel asleep to it.  I have to record her singing that for you guys--she belts it out with her eyes closed...its adorable.

Finally...just to vent.  I had a doctor's appointment yesterday--sat there for TWO HOURS and FIFTEEN MINUTES only to be (1) weighed (2) hear the heartbeat.  It was worth it...but boy was I frustrated.  I was patient and understanding for the first hour or so, but after that, I was done. I was SO done that I didn't even ask any questions or anything.  TWO HOURS...for a 10 minute appointment.  Crazy!